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Inaugural Game Dev Heroes awards winners revealed

New ceremony celebrates individuals and unsung heroes who contribute greatly to both their studios and the industry

The winners have been announced for the first ever Game Dev Heroes awards, a new initiative designed to honour individuals rather than companies.

The venture has been organised by UK industry veteran Alex Boucher, and is judged based on the specific accomplishments and contributions of each developer, rather than the products they work on or the studios that employ them.

The awards were nominated by peers and members of the industry, and judged by a panel of senior figureheads from a variety of developers, publishers, universities and other organisations across the UK.

The categories aimed to encompass as many disciplines of games development as possible, with a single winner named for each. The ceremony was held in Brighton, alongside this year's Develop:Brighton conference.

The winners in full include:

  • Art and Animation: Anna Hollinrake, Dream Reality Interactive
  • Design: Meg Jayanth, freelance writer and narrative designer
  • QA: Lesleyann White, Failbetter Games
  • Sound: Sam Hughes, The Sound Architect
  • Production: Jessica Gaskell, Sumo Digital
  • Programming: John Campbell, Triangular Pixels
  • Marketing & Community: Haley Uyrus, Failbetter Games
  • Management: Thad Frogley, Boss Alien

There were also three special awards for those who have contributed to the wider industry. Helen Andrzejowska, director of Ocean Spark Studios, took home the prize for Diversity Champion, thanks to her efforts encouraging girls to seek a career in video games.

SpecialEffect project manager Bill Donegan won Unsung Hero for his R&D work at the charity and his work on EyeMine, software that allows disabled people to control Minecraft with their eye movements.

Finally, Creative Assembly's creative director Mike Simpson was honoured for Outstanding Contribution, having been the creative force behind Sega's best-selling Total War series and helped grow the studio from just five employees to over 500.

"A huge congratulations to all the winners and, indeed, the finalists," said Boucher. "We're delighted with how the Game Dev Heroes awards have been received and look forward to taking the event forward in 2019 and beyond."

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James Batchelor


James Batchelor is Editor-in-Chief at GamesIndustry.biz. He has been a B2B journalist since 2006, and an author since he knew what one was